Saturday 16th September
North West Counties Football League First Division South
Eccleshall 1 Brocton 1
Brocton made five changes from the side that beat Sandbach United last weekend. Adam Weldon and Kenny Devoir returned in defence for Charlie Marshall and Henry Smith. Ben Haddaway and Christian Blanchette took their place in midfield with Lucas Green-Birch and Will Whieldon dropping to the bench. Reg Smith returned from suspension at the expense of Declan Arber. Eccleshall came into the game on the back of an excellent win over Stockport Town last time out and were the only side to inflict defeat on Brocton, early in the season.
Almost from the kick off, Brocton had a shot at goal as Blanchette crossed from the right and was then in on the follow up to strike the cross bar. Liam Hallam of Eccleshall held Blanchette back and won himself the first yellow card of the day, all within the opening five minutes. Eccleshall came in to the game from a long pass from keeper Aaron Woolrich and Nick Wellecomme was first to the ball beyond the Brocton back line only to find himself offside. He put the ball in just for practice. That heralded a bright period for the home side as a deep corner was recycled to the far post where Wellecomme lurked, but it was too high for him. On the right hand side Weldon was left behind as another long pass into that channel gave Luke Lewis the chance to cross into the box. Wellecomme was well placed but a timely tackle blocked his effort. Weldon was involved at the attacking end and hit a firm shot from 25 yards only to cannon off Smith to safety for the home side. Just after the 20 minute mark Mitchell Glover took a corner for Eccleshall and Brocton failed to clear the ball, as it was recycled twice before Ben Haddaway found himself on the wrong side of the referee and a free kick was given just outside the box. The wall did not cover the right hand post and a smart kick from Glover exploited the gap to put the home side ahead. Brocton reacted well and a ball fed to Jake Thomas from Weldon was struck just over the bar. Eccleshall broke quickly and Tony Allsopp was needed at the back to make a tackle on the edge of his area. He won the tackle, but he was not able to stop himself as his momentum took him into the striker. The referee awarded the home side a penalty. Jordan Benton struck it hard and low to the right hand post, but Allsopp read it well and saved. Brocton were energised and Thomas got to the bye line and pulled the ball back only for Blanchette’s effort to be blocked. Then Morgan Payne tricked his way right and then left to make room for a shot, which he pulled just wide. Tom Vaughan and Thomas combined to get a shot on goal, but Hallam managed to get his body in the way to force a corner.
Half Time: Eccleshall 1 Brocton 0
There were no half time changes and Brocton were soon on the attack as Smith had a shot blocked on the line before Payne, in a promising position was crowded out before being able to get off a shot. A more Brocton like five man passing move took the visitors to the edge of the box and a corner was the result. Connor Haddaway took the kick and Smith was lining up a shot only to find home keeper Aaron Woolrich bravely intercepting. Whieldon and Matty Bestall came on for Dan Evans and Ben Haddaway and soon after Vaughan found his path opening up as he strode forward. Vaughan tried to slot a pass into the box, but it was blocked and came back to the centre back’s feet. Seeing no other pass on Vaughan struck it low and hard into the corner of the net to bring the Badgers level. Glover had a long range effort which Allsopp gathered and at the other end Weldon crossed for Payne to glance a header wide of the post. An Eccleshall break had Devoir exposed as the last defender, but Devoir kept his cool and nodded the ball back to Allsopp with the keeper calmly taking the ball despite pressure from Callum Feeney. Declan Arber came on for Connor Haddaway in Brocton’s final throw of the dice and Arber soon found himself involved in an attack, but Smith hit his effort wide of the target and then Whieldon’s cross in the following move had Woolrich touching Devoir’s effort onto and over the bar.
Full Time: Eccleshall 1 Brocton 1 Attendance:180
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Adam Weldon, Dan Evans (Matty Bestall 52), Kenny Devoir, Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway, (Will Whieldon 52), Christian Blanchette (Charlie King 73), Jake Thomas, Reg Smith,
Connor Haddaway (Declan Arber 80), Morgan Payne.
Eccleshall: Aaron Woolrich, Jordan Darlington, Joseph Minshall, Blake Robinson, Jordan Benton, Callum Feeney, Luke Lewis, Mitchell Glover, Nick Wellecomme, Ryan Malbon (George Woodroffe 71), Liam Hallam.
Subs not used: Kyle Diskin, Alexion Southwick-Williams, Liam Tomlin, Tom Clare.
Yellow Cards: Minshall, Hallam (Eccleshall)